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NBA won't do random marijuana tests in 2020-2021 season

An NBA spokesperson said the league will instead focus its random testing program on "performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse."
Credit: AP
The court floor and league logo are shown after Game 3 of the NBA basketball Western Conference final between the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

WASHINGTON — The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association have agreed that players will not be randomly tested for marijuana during the upcoming season. 

"Due to the unusual circumstances in conjunction with the pandemic, we have agreed with the NBPA to suspend random testing for marijuana for the 2020-21 season and focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse," NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement provided to multiple media outlets.

The NBA had a similar policy in place during the league's bubble this past summer at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. 

According to reports, there may still be marijuana test in cases of "cause." 

The NBA’s preseason schedule begins Dec. 11 and the regular season begins on Dec. 22. 

The league said Wednesday that 48 players tested positive for the coronavirus since testing resumed last week. The NBA and the players association said 546 players were tested between Nov. 24-30 in the initial phase of testing after returning to team markets. That means about 9% of the tests were positive.

Any player with a confirmed positive test is isolated until cleared by rules established by the league and union, in accordance with CDC guidance. The league's health and safety protocols for this season say that anyone with a positive test in this pre-camp phase “must receive medical clearance from a team-designated physician and a league-designated physician prior to entering a team facility, participating in in-person team-organized activities, or interacting in-person with other" members of their team.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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